I never made a poem, dear friend
I never sat me down, and said,
This cunning brain and patient hand
Shall fashion something to be read.
Men often came to me, and prayed
I should indite a fitting verse
For fast, or festival, or in
Some stately pageant to rehearse.
(As if, than Balaam more endowed,
I of myself could bless or curse.)
Reluctantly I bade them go,
Ungladdened by my poet-mite;
My heart is not so churlish but
Its loves to minister delight.